A new gallery dedicated to First Nations art and storytelling has opened on Mair Street.
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Perridak Art Gallery was established by Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BADAC) and was named from the Wadawurrung word for platypus, 'perridak' - from the traditional Country where Ballarat sits.
BADAC chief executive Karen Heap said it was a space for the many stories of different artists and their Countries that converge in the region.
"Ballarat is really very much about people coming from different areas because of the Stolen Generation and, because people were left here after that era of time and they didn't have a home to go to, they made Ballarat their home," Ms Heap said.
"It's important that we embrace that and we have, as an organisation, embraced all Aboriginal people that come to Ballarat. This is just another way of doing that."
The light-filled gallery has 35 registered artists on the books so far with their works available for purchase.
Painter and Ballarat local Trevor Mitchell, who comes from Barkindji Country in New South Wales, said it was inspiring to share the space with other artists.
"Since I've been in Ballarat, because I'm not from here, painting stuff that connects me to this community creates a stronger connection. Still sticking to my traditional style, my own style, but adding elements of this Country," Mr Mitchell said.
Similarly, artist Leonie Harris has lived in Ballarat for 25 years, and her works explore stories many different areas, including Wadawurrung Country, Noongar Country, in Western Australia, and Yorta Yorta lands, which sits over the border of New South Wales and Victoria.
"It's just a way of me respecting the Country I live on. And then, doing paintings of my Country. It's a memory for me, just to bring back memories of my mother's Country," Ms Harris said.
Perridak Art Gallery was funded by a $200,000 investment from the state government's Living Local Fund.
Last month, works began on BADAC's Elders' Independent Living Community, backed by a $2.6 million investment from the Andrews' government's Regional Infrastructure Fund.
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